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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough.

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mpeg2video

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Massachusetts 93, Scott Brown 36, Martha Coakley 36, Us 31, Washington 30, Conan 21, Boston 20, Brown 18, Haiti 18, Coakley 16, Jay Leno 15, New York 13, Joe 12, Neutrogena 10, Nbc 10, Vicki Kennedy 10, Mike Barnicle 10, Virginia 10, Ted Kennedy 9, Peggy Noonan 9,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with  
   newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough.  

    January 19, 2010
    6:00 - 9:00am EST  

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late-night situation. jay leno addressed it head on seriously last night. we'll talk about that. but we start this morning with haiti. the death toll continues to climb there this morning where officials estimate 200,000 people may have been killed in last week's quake with millions more struggling for survival. the u.s. military is now air dropping food and water despite the potential of triggering violence among the crowds. meanwhile, a mission organized by pennsylvania governor ed rendell is bringing dozens of orphaned children back to the u.s. although the kids have been waiting for adoption for months, even years, officials sped up the process in the wake of the disaster. former president bill clinton had traveled to haiti yesterday, says the relief effort is beginning to make a difference despite a slow start. >> it wasn't like there was anybody in charge, but it wasn't anyone's fault. it's because of the way the earthquake took out people in the haitian government and their physical structures and the
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police, even 40%, they don't have any uniforms or weapons. and because of the way it took out the leadership of the u.n. and because of the time it took to get the americans in. we're rocking now. it will be better tomorrow. it will be better after that. in less than an hour, as we said, the polls will open in massachusetts where a special election is seen as a major test for the democratic party and for president obama's policies. just weeks ago, democrat martha coakley was cruising to victory to fill the seat left open by the late senator ted kennedy. but following a lackluster campaign, republican scott brown now has the momentum and the potential for an historic upset. msnbc chief washington correspondent norah o'donnell in boston this morning, better known as the cheers bar. you look a lot warmer this morning, norah. give us a sense of -- polls open in an hour. what do things look like now?
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>> reporter: well, democrats are bracing for a devastating defeat that could hand the republican party 41 votes in the senate and perhaps kill barack obama's health care reform. so they are worried. they are trying to do everything they can at the last moment to try and pull out this race with a get-out-the-vote operation with all the democratic mayors and local polls trying to sort of get out the vote this very -- you know, today when the polls open at 7:00, they close at 8:00 tonight. it's going to be tough. there's already finger pointing about what went wrong during this campaign, whether martha coakley was a bad candidate, whether democrats were asleep at the wheel, whether they didn't recognize the anger and anxiety out there in this country, or that scott brown was a good candidate who was running a stealth campaign with a couple million dollars from the republicans in washington who were funneling to his campaign and hoping to make this a race. so there's a lot of different factors at play. i caught up with vicki kennedy yesterday, the widow of senator
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ted kennedy who's been out campaigning. she's been very emotional on the trail because she's still grieving. and i asked her yesterday, what happened? what went wrong? what led to this point? and she tried to keep sort of a brave face on the whole thing, but listen to what she said. >> but i think that we have to ask for people's vote. certainly that's the way my husband always ran. you always ask for everyone's vote, for everyone's support. you can't take anything for granted. we shouldn't take anything for granted. you know, tip o'neill said it best, you know, all politics is local. if you don't ask people for their vote and for their support -- >> but nobody expected months ago that this would be this close and that a republican could actually win this seat. >> we're all out there asking people for their help and for their support. i think that tomorrow we're going to have a good victory with martha coakley. >> reporter: you hear that, she said you can't take anything for granted. you shouldn't take anything for
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granted. but coakley's criticed ss say ts exactly what she did. she took this race for granted. she took time off during the holidays when she should have been burning up and knocking on doors, working the shoe leather, getting out there. and she didn't. and so that's why there's a lot of talk now about what she did wrong. one other note, mika, i also asked vicki kennedy whether she would consider political office in the future. and she said that her heart is still heavy. and i said, that's not a no. and she said, my heart is still heavy. i thought that was a very interesting response about whether vicki kennedy may at some point seek political office herself. >> a number of interesting responses. great interview. nbc's norah o'donnell, thanks very much. that is fascinating. >> vicki kennedy may have a chance to run against a republican in a couple of years when the seat is back up. but mike barnicle, vicki kennedy could not have said it more
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succinctly in that interview that martha coakley lost this race. she didn't ask -- she didn't ask for votes. and i'm not talking about you, i'm just speaking about what i've heard, the kennedys really feel like martha coakley has wasted a great legacy. >> i don't think they're alone in that state with that sentiment, joe. i think a lot of democrats and independents feel the same way about the coakley campaign. i think a lot of people feel that if martha coakley were a doctor, she'd be in jail for malpractice. and this is political malpractice, what she has managed to do. now, she could still pull this out. it appears that she's running uphill now which in itself is staggering. >> staggering. >> 30-point lead a month ago. >> and let's put this into perspective. stu rothberg who along with charlie cook have been the two experts on capitol hill politics for a generation.
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stu rothenberg's quote this morning -- i read it in politico's playbook -- is that if brown wins tonight, he says this will be the greatest political upset of his lifetime. i don't know if he's -- i don't want to insult stu. he may be 55, he may be 60. he ain't a spring chicken. and he's followed all of these races more closely than anybody, again, other than charlie cook. and he said if brown wins, this will be the biggest political upset of my life. >> wow! all right. >> it's hard to put this into perspective, but it is -- it is devastating for the white house if brown ends up winning this. there's just no way to spin it. >> no. we're going to be talking about this much more. let's turn to new york now. new york politics where a new poll shows senator kirsten gillibrand dominating harold ford jr. in a potential matchup for the democratic primary. according to a siena research institute poll, gillibrand is
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ahead 41% to 17%. ford's camp loo point to lack of name recognition with 63% say they don't know enough about him. while ford hasn't decided on whether or not he'll run, he does have some tough words for his potential opponent saying gillibrand is, quote, weak in many places across the state. >> and a couple things about that poll. first of all, harold's not known well across the state. secondly, he's jumped 10 percentage points since the last poll was taken. and it's just way too early. the key here is you don't look at the challenger who's not well known. you look at the incumbent. her approval rating is -- she's sitting at, like, i believe 30% in this poll, maybe 32% approval rating. and when she does a head-to-head matchup against george pataki who, let's remember, didn't leave as the most popular governor in new york state, pataki trounces here, like, 51% to 36%.
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she is -- she is martha coakley in waiting, kirsten gillibrand. >> depending on the economy. >> -- those with no response because they're not following the race yet. not fair to harold. >> but no, harold's going to have to get known, there's no doubt about it. >> we shall see if he decides to run. >> yeah. you think he's going to run? >> i'm actually not sure. >> he should have moved to massachusetts on thanksgiving day. >> apparently. >> might have helped. >> he'd be on the verge of being in the united states senate. >> thanksgiving weekend up in massachusetts. >> stand outside fenway in the cold. >> shake hands. >> you, too, can be a senator. according to "the washington post," the fbi invoked false terrorism emergencies to illegally obtain more than 2,000 phone records during the bush administration. the bureau simply persuaded phone companies to turn their records over. a report says the fbi then issued approvaled after fact in
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order to justify their actions. and with the late-night battle lines clearly drawn, team conan is taking its message to the streets. backed by a facebook phenomenon, fans of "the tonight show" staged rallies in four cities yesterday. conan made a personal appearance outside universal studios, even buying pizzas for hundreds of people standing in the rain. conan appears poised to leave nbc after he refused to move his show to a later time slot. meanwhile, jay leno who is set to take back his old show at the 11:35 start time says it all comes down to business. >> when the boss gives you a job and you don't do it well, i think we did a good job here, but we didn't get the ratings. okay. so you get humbled. i said, okay. i'm not crazy about dog a half hour, but okay. what do you want to do with conan? we'll put him on at midnight or 12:05. he keeps "the tonight show." next thing i see conan has a story in the paper saying he doesn't want to do that.
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they come back to me and they say, if he decides to walk and doesn't want to do it, do you want the show back? i go -- yeah, i'll take the show back. through all of this, conan o'brien has been a gentleman. he's a good guy. i have no animosity towards him. this is all business. you know, folks, if you don't get the ratings, they take you off the air. >> and jeff zucker, the president and ceo of nbc universal, tells charlie rose that while his plan to shake up late night didn't work, he's now working to correct it. >> obviously, in hindsight, you know, perfect information leads you to that conclusion that it was a mistake. and i think it's the sign of a leader to step up and say, you know, when something's not working, to have the guts to reverse it. and the worst thing you can do is to let that mistake linger. and really that's what we've tried to do here. we tried to correct something that didn't work. >> that's interesting. >> willie? mika? what do you think, willie?
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you talk about nbc. let's start with you. >> i think that was the way to handle it. >> yeah. >> you know, we actually talk about president obama, when he takes responsibility for things, and it's sort of different than what we've seen. and look, this didn't work. it didn't work. so what are you going to do? >> here's the deal, though. because everybody's focusing on conan not getting the ratings. that's true. they gave conan one of the great franchises in tv history. and he lost, what, half of his audience? one-third of his audience? >> right. >> but his ratings collapsed, and everybody quietly, even people that loved conan, said god, that's going horribly. like ebersol said, he didn't change his routine enough. but there's another side of it. and that is jay leno. guess what? jay leno, they gave jay leno -- zuker gave leno a chance to revolutionize primetime. and if he had done a good job from 10:00 to 11:00, he would
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still be on, and his ratings would still be good. and they would be figuring the conan problem out. but what nobody is saying and nobody will say here around nbc because they hope jay goes back, he takes over "the tonight show," and it's number one, nobody's saying what i said six months ago, which is, of course, what everybody was saying off the air but nobody will say it on the air. and that is his show was terrible. it was not funny. jeff zucker gave him a chance to revolutionize primetime, and he failed. and not only did he fail, he failed miserably. i talked about on the air about those young comics. they would do these things, these skits -- >> oh, they were awful. >> -- and they were unwatchable. >> i didn't watch the whole "charlie rose" but isn't that what jeff is saying? >> no, but see, everybody's criticizing conan for not getting the ratings and not changing his show. he deserves that criticism. but there were two people given a great opportunity, and leno was the other one. his 10:00 show was just horrific. >> maybe the 10:00 show was
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horrific, but was it that different from what he was doing at 11:35? not really. which leads you to believe -- i mean, he's still jay leno, he's still got the celebrity guest. he did the man on the street stuffer, the jaywalking. so that leads you to the conclusion that nothing in that format, anyway, would work at 10:00 and that fundamentally it was a bad decision. i don't know if johnny carson would have worked at 10:00. who knows? >> the thing is, we know that the best of "snl" stuff during the campaigns explode during primetime. i know "snl" is different than "leno," but you can put something in there that doesn't require a massive budget and the rebuilding of an entire "west wing" and highly paid actors that will work. i think somebody funny with a political edge could work there. but leno, man, those comics, every time i looked at it, i was thinking, he's funneling this out. >> the "snl" things were once a week a couple times a year. it's hard to do it every night.
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leno said in his explanation last night, when they came to him about the 10:00 thing, he said this isn't going to work. it's a bad idea. leno that said on the air. >> everybody's an expert now. >> what seems to have happened is that when they switched jay from 11:30 to 10:00 and conan from 1:30 or 12:30 to 11:30, their personalities changed. with the change in time. they tried to be someone that they weren't. and it doesn't -- tv is an x-ray tube. and it didn't work. >> sometimes things evolve very organically. >> you know, i think we need to evolve. i think they need to start us at 7:30. >> yes! >> i'm feeling 8:00 a.m. that would be really good for me. oh, and maybe for you. might be here on time. inch all right. coming up, the backup plan. what the white house is preparing to do if the democrats lose today in massachusetts. and let the finger-pointing begin. we're going to get an exclusive first look at the politico
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playbook. and a little later, the two men who have governored the state for a good part of the past decade, mitt romney and governor deval patrick will join us. first, here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> morning. all eyes on massachusetts. we are watching light rain and snow moving through areas of upstate new york. this is all going to head through massachusetts during the day today. so the forecast in boston to worcester, lawrence and hyannis calls for light mix during the day today. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. to help. the meeting with northern trust went well, didn't it? yeah, they get it. they really get it. a little more stability would be nice. northern trust offers the strength and expertise... that can only come from a 120-year track record... of thriving even in difficult times. they understand. roller coasters are for kids, not money. ♪ northern trust. wealth management. asset management. asset servicing.
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it's been widely reported that i can't say anything negative about the net work. yeah. luckily, folks, they're not saying i can't sing anything negative. ♪ ♪ morons ♪ incompetent morons ♪ these people are morons ♪ la dee dee dee >> the guy's going to get paid $40 million to walk, okay? and he's doing this every night. and i understand the routine. but that's, like, the guy's barely above the mendoza line
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for late-night ratings. >> can i give you a different perspective on this, please? >> i'm just saying, he's trying to be martyr here. >> i'd like him to take half that money and send it right to haiti. >> send it to haiti. >> and just shut up because seriously this isn't that big a deal. this is late-night couple. >> he said about a week ago, the only thing i care about is being able to feed my family. really? >> you know what? >> really, conan? you know what? drop the martyr complex right now. and jay, you know what? you're a back stabber, all right? let's just get it all out into the open. you were with david. it is what it is, but it's jay, as you said, it's all about business. you sucked at 10:00, conan sucked at 11:30. you know what? you didn't put zucker in a good position. >> but like the big bank -- >> hold on. chris. oh, my god. >> still raking it in on wall street. >> really, conan, drop the martyr complex. >> send millions of dollars to haiti.
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and if they don't, they should be ashamed of themselves. making themselves front headlines. >> i can tell you one bank that has. i can tell you that bank of america has thrown millions to haiti. >> good. and they should be the example. >> ferrying things back and forth. >> it reminds me of this whole conan/jay fight reminds me of an old shakespeare line. >> i'm serious. >> are we dancers? oh, wait. that's the killers, the song we're playing. i don't get it. i don't get it. >> i find it to be out of place, out of tone with what's going on. >> the killers are not out of tone. they're just nice kids from vegas. all right. let's look at "the morning papers." "the boston globe," the big story of the morning, all eyes on the bay state ballot. brown and coakley make final push before today's high-stakes election. "miami herald," tension spreads on the street. >> and "wall street journal" this morning, cadbury is going
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to be taking over for kraft. usa. what else, mika? >> set to pay lots of money for that. "new york times," democrats seek options to keep health bill alive pathetic. the white house has begun laiing the groundwork to rush approval and send the bill directly to president obama for his signature. embarrassing. >> now, willie, let's go to politico and answer the question, are we humans, or are we dancers? >> or are we dancers? hey, mike allen has a look at the politico playbook. are we human or are we dancers? >> happy election day. is there a third choice? >> see, no one knows. >> nobody knows. >> i don't get the lyrics. i don't get it. i don't get it. >> we've got to google this one. mike allen, let's talk about the massachusetts election. it's not decided yet, but the polls do not look good for martha coakley. and i understand democrats already blaming each other. >> yeah, willie, you might call this a pre-mortem.
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there's already a circular firing squad among democrats in massachusetts, in washington. was it the pollster? was it the democratic national committee? was it the preds wsident who crd this environment? was it the campaign economy which was slow to recognize this race was slipping away? they're all saying that someone should have sounded the alarm earlier. but let's be honest, the press took a while to catch on as well. i have with me this morning the dewey versus truman of our times. this is the "boston sunday globe" nine days ago, nine days ago. senate poll, they have the democrat up 15 points. so it's no wonder that people down in washington who were depending on operatives in massachusetts to delve into what's going on. what you'll hear democrats saying, i think, if this race turns out the way the polls look, and it will be so stunning, the handicapper, stu rothenberg, says that if the republican wins here, that it will be the biggest upset of his adult lifetime. >> wow!
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>> if that occurred, i think we'll hear that this was a candidate who was never ready. she went dark around christmastime. we've talked on the show, she didn't know who the red sox curt schilling is? >> what are you going to do? >> what are you going to do, stand outside fenway in the cold? >> we talked this summer on the show, give yourself a month and a half. you've got to help the poor. she was up in nantucket in the polls. >> you black out all the time. you go dark a lot. big question, though, mike allen, is what does this mean? let's say the republican wins. what does it mean for the white house and the health care agenda? >> well, we're told that the president is going to come back fighting, that even though it does -- >> that will do it. >> -- unquestionably -- >> you mean he's going to come back fighting like he did on sunday with that rally? >> no, that's exactly right. we're going to hear the president with a much more tough populist language. you heard him saying we're going to get our money back from the banks. you heard him sunday at that
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rally, they don't need another senator in washington. even though they'll have to accept smaller victories, you'll hear the president in a fighting mood, trying to say, look, i said change was going to be hard. whoa, it's changing harder than i thought. >> read my lips. school uniforms. >> there it is. >> there's going to be no the year of big government is over, not going to go that route. >> mike allen, we'll talk to you coming up a little later in the show. thanks so much. up next, was it an inside job? the latest twist in the google cyber attack from china. plus, a former red sox player, of course, swings and misses, and now he's banned for life. from a winter baseball league. watch the forearm here. that's an umpire, folks. >> that's not right. >> sports is next. wow, is this... fiber one honey clusters? yes.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it is 6:30 on the east coast. time for a look at some of today's top stories. one week after a devastating earthquake, relief workers in haiti say scattered violence is slowing food and water deliveries in parts of the capital. thousands of survivors are now fleeing the city in hopes of finding refugees with relatives further into the countryside. the u.n. security council is expected to approve additional peacekeeping forces to help speed up the relief effort. in just 30 minutes from now, voters in massachusetts will
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begin casting ballots for their next u.s. senator. the race is coming down to the wire. a stunning turn of events in the democrats' traditional stronghold. democrat martha coakley has shed a 30-point lead in the polls to the relatively unknown republican, scott brown. and the web giant google is looking into whether any of its own employees played a role in a major cyber attack that hacked into the e-mails of human rights leaders in china. the security breach led to them no longer asking for censorship. it will postpone its launch over its new phone in china over the dispute. that's the news. time for sports. you'll be interested in this because you've been predicting this all along. tiger woods now, his long relationship with nike getting a little shaky maybe. "the wall street journal" reporting nike will introduce its new line of golf clubs this month without tiger woods as part of a promotion. they're not dropping tiger, they're just taking him out of
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promotional materials. still a lot of nike's retail partners say they expect it to sell well in 2010 with or without tiger. you have to take into account for nike, tiger has taken a leave of absence, an indefinite break from the sport. so they don't want a guy who's not even playing as the front man for their clubs. for now, tiger woods not part of nike's marketing campaign. check out this video from baseball. the dominican republic in a winter league, former major league all-star jose offerman who is now a manager down there arguing with an umpire, then throwing a phantom forearm at the ump. you can't throw a forearm shiver, but let's be honest, the ump took a dive. looked like bill laimbeer against the celtics. the umpire took a little flak here. jose offerman has been banned for life, a little bit of a temper and history. let's see his previous work. >> i think he's misunderstood. >> how about this one in a minor league baseball game.
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swinging with a wooden bat. you just can't do that. >> what do we call him in boston? >> jose awful man. >> everything you need to know. former florida quarterback and heisman trophy winner tim tebow and his mother, we're told, will appear in a 30-second commercial during the super bowl next month. the commercial is said to be an anti-abortion message chronicle pam tebow's 1987 pregnancy. she got sick during a mission trip to the philippines and ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child. she then gave birth to tim tebow. all right. check out this video. i don't know where it is, but we're going to show it to you anyway. two guys surfing, a helicopter is flying low to catch the action. one guy flips off a wave and almost gets caught in the rotors of the helicopter. >> i hate when that happens. >> good lord! >> holy cow. >> this is extreme surfing. the helicopter moved in low for a shot for a dvd to be sold somewhere sometime. almost cost the guy his life. >> some journalists would ask, is that a real shot or was it
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doctored? we don't really care. >> no. >> that's what makes our show our show. it doesn't matter. coming up a little later, peggy noonan and eugene robinson will be here. and when we come back, a look at mika's must-read opinion pages. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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my name is scott brown. and i'm running for the united states senate. this is my truck. i put a lot of miles on it during this campaign. wherever i go, people tell me they're concerned about the path our country is on. spending is out of control. government keeps getting bigger and bigger. it's time for a new direction. i love this old truck. it's brought me closer to the people of this state. and i want to speak for them as their next united states senator. i'm scott brown and i approve this message because it's time
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we end business as usual in washington. >> hey, dad. >> martha knows the struggles massachusetts working families face because she's lived those struggles. she's fought for the people of massachusetts every single day. as attorney general, she took on wall street and recovered millions for massachusetts taxpayers. she went after big insurance companies, took on privatory lenders. we need you on tuesday! >> i'm martha coakley and i approve this message. >> my god, that says it all, doesn't it? >> well, it's not an old truck. that truck has all the bells and whistles. i know i'm grasping here -- >> whatever. >> -- but mr. brown, if you win, i'll show you a truck, a real man's truck, okay? >> that's what she said. >> no, that's not a real man's truck. >> mike barnicle -- >> back seats. >> -- those advertisements will show the problem in this race.
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>> well, one of the big problems in this race, joe, is pointed out clearly in that ad. i mean, you have one candidate out there, driving the metaphorical truck meeting people and the other candidate shielded by the incumbent president of the united states. she disappears, goes dark, as we said from about a week before christmas until about ten days ago. and then when she does reappear to the public on tv, it's with a barrage of negative ads against scott brown, the likes of which, the volume of which, i have not -- i have not seen in any campaign. >> which, of course, when you're behind and people sense you're desperate, that only drives your numbers lower. and look at those two ads. >> that was -- >> you've got -- >> -- interesting. >> and you've got brown who was shivering. remember, we went up after your book event, we went to fenway to the hockey game with barnicle. and brown was outside shivering, shaking hands. and it was cold as hell that night. >> it was cold. >> he was shaking hands outside of fenway that night with
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voters. at the same time martha coakley, who's in a ritzy fund-raiser in washington, d.c. and there again, lie the differences in these two candidates. >> when she was asked about it, why wasn't she out there, she said what? stand outside fenway park in the cold? shaking hands? >> shaking hands? >> here with us now, political director of the atlantic media company, ron brownstein to chime in on the conversation. hi, ron. >> hey, ron, those two commercials and the story we just told really says it all about this campaign, doesn't it? >> well, almost all. i mean, with apologies to john kennedy, this may be a case where defeat has 1,000 fathers. i mean, you had a -- if, in fact, the polls hold up -- and mothers, i guess. look, coakley was a very complacent candidate who settled in for a long winter's nap, as mike said, after the primary. and when she emerged, didn't leave that many people wondering where she had been. she was not a strong candidate
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in any way. but the overlying reality -- or the overlying -- overarching dynamic is that the president's approval rating among white voters in our polling last weekend and others is below 40%. when that is the case in a state like massachusetts where over 80% of the votes are cast by whites, he's especially weak among blue-collar whites, the kind of people that you might find outside fenway on a cold winter's day going into an historic hockey game. martha coakley couldn't be troubled to go shake hands with. they are moving away from the democrats right now. >> 35%. let me ask you, ron, what's the possibility -- have you seen any polls, any suggestions that coakley could still pull this out? i don't want this to -- i don't want us tomorrow morning to be thinking we've just had new hampshire part two here. >> right. and, look, new hampshire is a reality. mike barnicle knows the state better than i do. you've had four or five polls with brown over 50% in the last few days which would suggest he's in a strong position. on the other hand, democrats
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outnumber republicans 3-1. it is within registration of the state, so it's within the realm of -- it's conceivable, at least, that with this full-scale alarm in the party, that they can generate a kind of turnout to make this a lot closer and perhaps even get her over the top. when i talked to operatives yesterday, he thought that was still within the realm of possibility, but she's losing blue-collar democrats as well as independents in this polling so it is tough. but look, it is a democratic state. i think you can never rule out a surprise, but clearly she's the underdog. >> mike barnicle, any chances from her? from talking to democratic praltipral operatives. forget journalists, but the democrats that run politics in massachusetts, do they think it's over? >> they think it's over. the people i've spoken to think it's over. >> all right. let's do eugene robinson. is gene on today? >> yes. >> tough lessons for obama's first year. oh, good, he is on at 8:00. the first is that the enthusiasm gap matters, and it matters a lot. there is no way that a democratic candidate for the
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senate from massachusetts, running to fill the seat that the late ted kennedy held for decades, should have anything but a cakewalk to victory. it's true that martha coakley ran a mediocre campaign and that republican scott brown ran a very good one, but still. this is massachusetts we're talking about. that obama would have to fly in two days before the vote and stump for coakley and the democrats' filibuster-proof majority was absurd. >> you know, ron, i read in politico last night one democrat going after barack obama, saying, okay. so we're going to lose massachusetts. and they're going to blame coakley. just like we lost new jersey and they blamed corzine. just like we lost virginia and they blamed deeds. despite the fact deeds almost beat his opponent four years ago in another race. and this democrat, senior democrat in washington, says, we'd better wake up and figure out the only thing these three candidates have in common are obama. could it be that this is an unpopular agenda that's driving
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a lot of blue-collar independents away? >> there's no question that there's a national overlay, and that's the word i was looking for before, in all of these races. and i think you'd have to be putting your head in the sand to try to ignore it. i mean, the question for democrats is how they move forward. i would just point out one thing here. you know, people have correctly noted what a catastrophic loss it would be for the democrats. on the other hand, even if they lose, they will be at 59 senators. and neither party has held that many senators since 1979. so the idea that we have become so divided and the filibuster has become so routine that you cannot govern with 59 seats. you cannot expect to attract enough republicans to do that. that is a really ominous prospect looking forward for this country. >> it is rough. >> not often is one party going to get even as high as democrats would be if they lose today. >> you know, the thing is, again, talking about these races, republicans won big, won
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i independents big in virginia this past year in '09, in new jersey, and now look at these numbers in massachusetts. scott brown picking up 69% of those independent voters that swing elections and then elected barack obama last year. mika, you also have an op-ed from "the new york times." >> david brooks, listen to this. many democrats, as always, are caught in their insular liberal information loop. they think the polls are bad simply because the economy is bad. they tell each other health care is unpopular because people aren't sophisticated enough to understand it. some believe they can still pass health care even if their candidate, martha coakley, loses the senate race in massachusetts on tuesday. that, of course, would be political suicide. it would be the act of a party so arrogant, elitist and contemptuous of popular wisdom that it would not deserve to govern. marie antoinette would applaud, but voters would rage.
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wow! ouch. ow, ow, ow. >> mike? >> you can go throughout massachusetts right now which in a sense is a microcosm of the other 49 states around us. and when it comes to health care, it's not that people are opposed to health care reform up there. it's that this has never been explained to them. they still don't grasp the fundamentals. if this administration, if this particular -- >> and because of that, they are opposed to it, james carville's latest poll shows that two-thirds of americans -- james carville's poll -- two-thirds of americans oppose obama's health care plan. >> they want to know, what's it going to cost us? the other thing is, this president of the united states, the most articulate of presidents, has never funneled this down into preexisting conditions. start with that and build on that. they never did it, and that's why people wonder about the health care bill. >> ron brownstein, a comment on david brooks. >> yeah, look. what you heard. gene robinson saying democrats have an enthusiasm gap. david brooks saying he's suicidal to go forward with health care. if you let it die now, there may
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be no choice. that enthusiasm gap gets deeper. democrats get more alienated. so it is a very difficult choice going forward even if there is a plausible option to try to do this. and it's not clear that there is, although there may be -- if you can get the house somehow to accept the senate bill. bottom line, no easy choices going forward. democrats, as you say, are losing independents. they have to figure out a way to fire up their base between now and november and doing both things at once, firing up your base and reaching out to the middle is never easy. >> very hard, ron. >> ron brownstein, thank you very much. >> hey, thanks, ron. coming up, new york congressman anthony wiener and his strategy for health care, should democrats lose today. and up next, jay leno says, i told you so. that his show in primetime would never work. the comedian getting serious last night. we'll play it for you straight ahead on "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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make sure if you're in chicago on january 21st, 12:00 p.m., there is going to be a book signing. >> oh, yeah. >> for mika's "all things at once." she's going to be at the union league club in chicago. (squeals, laughter) grandmother: who wants to go another lap? kids: go grandma, go faster! vo: manage your weight and stay healthy at unbeatable prices. healthy living costs less at walmart. save money. live better. walmart. because with national, i roll past the counter... and choose any car in the aisle. choosing your own car? now that's a good call. go national. go like a pro.
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oh, god, yes. tell me it's time. >> did i hear we have david letterman? >> what? >> i hope so. >> wow, all right. so we're going to put together the night that was. we have jay leno getting serious last night for the first time, not in a joking manner, addressing the situation with conan o'brien. but i understand letterman got in on the act. let's listen. >> january 2010. conan o'brien hosts his final "tonight show." march 2010. jay leno resumes hosting "the tonight show." july 2042. nbc converts jay leno into a cyborg so he can host "the tonight show" through the 23rd century. >> folks, it's monday night, time for "headlines." >> thanks for watching. your local news starts now. >> that would work. >> all righty. >> that would absolutely work.
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jay leno, as we said, went on the air, addressed the camera last night, talking about the situation. we played a little of it earlier. he said this was a business decision. i wasn't getting ratings at 10:00. conan wasn't getting ratings at 11:30. something had to give. here's what he said about the whole situation going back to before he even got the 10:00 show. >> i said to nbc, would you release me? they said no, we want to keep you here. okay. what are your ideas? they said, well, how about primetime? i said, well, that will never work. conan's show, during the summer we were not on, was not doing well. the great hope was that we would help him. well, we didn't help him any. don't blame conan o'brien. nice guy. good family guy. great guy. >> yes. >> well, you've got to have a funnier monologue than that. >> no, it's good. he had to address it. he made a couple jokes. he took it head on. jeff zucker, our boss here, the head of nbc universal, was on
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"charlie rose" last night talking about his decision. >> what conan decides to do, obviously, is up to conan. and we don't wish him any ill will at all. he'll make a decision that's in his best interest. but we've made a business decision that's in our best interest. and that's really what we're supposed to do. we're supposed to make hard business decisions without any personal feelings that -- and that's what we're supposed to do, and that's what we've done here. >> and so we had conan o'brien last night singing. he said he wasn't supposed to talk about how terrible nbc is, so he sang a little song. he also continued the craigslist theme. remember last week he said he put the show -- literally put it on craigslist, updating that for us last night. >> says right here, tall, slender redheaded male for nighttime recreation. 6'4", completely ripped, very caucasian. drapes match the carpet.
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currently homeless. must meet at your place. i can go a whole hour with scheduled breaks every seven to ten minutes. fatties welcome. not afraid to take two people at once. and then a musical guest. and final note, if you want me to perform after midnight, it will cost you. >> all right. >> fatties welcome, barnicle. you're in business. >> again, willie, i hate to be a wet blanket, but these guys are making a disgusting amount of money, and they're comedians, and it's great, and it's too bad that there's a problem here. but, again, they all should be giving a huge portion of their money to haiti. and to stop making -- i'd like to hear it. i'd like to hear it. i mean, a huge portion. they do not need all that money. >> he's going to go out guns blazing. >> really? polls, minutes away from the opening of the special election in massachusetts. now, this is a real story. we'll bring in congressman
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anthony wiener to tell us what it all means, what happens if coakley loses and the seat goes to a republican? congressman anthony wiener when "morning joe" returns. this season, there are more reasons than ever...
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looking at that live shot of new york city. it is now the top of the hour. welcome back to "morning joe." i'm mika brzezinski. >> i'm joe scarborough. we have with us willie geist, of course. >> yes. >> also, our massachusetts election expert, mike barnicle. >> mr. boston. >> tonight going to be quite a night. we don't want to what we did in new hampshire, declare the wrong guy. that being said, i want to ask you what i asked in the middle of the hour last hour, and that is forget the republicans, forget what the democrats are spinning. behind the scenes, and you've been in touch with all the elected democrats and all of the movers and shakers up there in massachusetts. do any of them think that martha coakley can still win? >> no. simple answer, no.
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>> they think it's over? >> they think it disappeared in the last three or four days. it's just one of these things, joe. both you guys have been on the ballot. you can feel something. and they could just feel it. just drifting away. >> and mika -- >> holy mackerel. >> -- mike also said that she's been absent from the campaign trail. and then over the last week, she's put on more negative ads than mike has ever seen. and a lot of times that just shows how desperate you are. >> you can smell the desperation. with us now, democratic representative from new york, congressman anthony wiener. good to have you back. >> so what happened to the patriots? i missed that. >> wow! right away. >> i'm just saying, if i'm coming on here talking about the jets, i'm sure. >> that would be good. >> the best thing about this race, we get to hear drop kick murphy, mighty mighty bosstones. >> well done.
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>> so go jets! >> you can't complain about that. >> so we're going to talk to anthony wiener about what happens next with health care if, in fact, as everybody in boston is saying, coakley's going to lose. what happens in washington, d.c.? >> exactly. let's get to the top stories this morning. we'll start with haiti. in new developments just this morning, nbc news has learned the next wave of u.s. marines is preparing to launch their first mission on the ground in haiti today. they are among the more than 2,000 forces on board the "uss baton," an assault ship providing humanitarian aid. it comes as the death toll continues to climb in haiti where officials now estimate 200,000 people may have been killed in last week's quake. with millions more struggling for survival, the u.s. military is now air dropping food and water despite the potential of triggering violence among the crowds. former president bill clinton who traveled to haiti yesterday says the relief effort is
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beginning to make a difference despite a slow start. >> it wasn't like there was anybody in charge, but it wasn't anyone's fault. it's because of the way the earthquake took out people in the haitian government and their physical structures. and the police, even 40% of them, have reported, but they don't have any uniforms or weapons. and because of the way it took out the leadership of the u.n. and because of the time it took to get the americans in. we're rocking now. it will be better tomorrow. it will be better the day after that. and the other big story this morning, the polls are now open in massachusetts where a special election is seen as a major test for the democratic party. and for president obama's policies. just weeks ago democrat martha coakley was cruising to victory to fill the seat left open by the late senator ted kennedy. but following a lackluster campaign, republican scott brown now has the momentum and the potential for an historic upset. that's going to be incredible.
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we'll follow that. >> so it is -- it really is an opportunity for an historic upset. the question is, what happens in washington afterward? and anthony, are you surprised by what you're seeing up in massachusetts? >> well, yes and no. i mean, no in that it's an ugly time for all incumbents because people are insecure. they're not 100% sure what we're doing in washington. there's a general sense the country's on the wrong path. >> is that a mistake the democrats have made? and i don't want to fall on that crutch that, oh, it's communication. we're doing great stuff. we're not communicating it. but has the message been too muddled from democrats on health care? >> well, i haven't liked it. you know, i've come on with you guys and i think we should have been much clearer about medicare. we understand how it works. it was a democratic initiative. this expanded five years or something like that. >> but, for instance, medicare for all. >> yeah. i mean, i think that that has been messaged very well and i also think let the senate and housework its will, that by definition is an unclear thing
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and muddled and the like. i also think something else. look, we're doing tough things. you're doing health care no matter who did it you're going to take a lot of lumps for it. i think you can critique how it's done, but there's no doubt the president is trying to solve the problems of the american people. the problem we have, this reminds us more of 1993. the president is doing incrementally good things but we in congress are taking our lumps every step of the way. and i also think when people who are against things are always more animated than people who are for things. there's a lot of headwinds. i don't want to do a postmortem until there's a mortem. >> this could be new hampshire. you never know. >> going back, and i was talking about how this is '93 and '94 for some time and it's engaged a lot of people on the left and i've got the nasty e-mails and tweets to prove it. but i'm actually starting to sense, mike barnicle, something different. i think this may be more like 1982 because what you have is a very popular president and brokaw said this yesterday in barack obama.
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i go out and give speeches. and i can talk about nancy pelosi and harry reid and the health care reform and all the things democratic in washington. and i can criticize republicans in washington over the mistakes they've made in the last year. and you get the lines about telling the truth about every one of these parts. but then you talk about barack obama and there's sort of a murmur in the audience. even if you're saying, perhaps the president could have done more of this. there's a murmur. and what i sense is that americans are going to have no problem taking it out of the democrats and congress and going to punish them. but barack obama still has a reservoir of goodwill out there. >> a couple things, joe. you get the sense of talking to people, having a conversation with people, not asking them questions, having a conversation with people that there's a huge frustration level among the american electorate that affects both parties. it affects incumbents, i think, in general.
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the other thing that you find out at least in massachusetts talking to people is that they like the president of the united states. they like him. but they are edging up to a bit of buyers' remorse over their vote in the sense not that they don't like him less. not that they blame him for the conditions that the country faces right now. it's just that they're wondering, geez. >> and they're hurting. >> he sold us so much hope, you know? >> yeah. right. >> the expectations were so high. >> yeah. >> it's sort of inevitable. >> let's go to another race. >> absolutely. let's turn to new york politics where a new poll shows senator kirsten gillibrand dominating harold ford jr. in a potential matchup for the democratic primary. according to polling from the siena research institute, gillibrand is ahead of ford 41% to 17%. ford's camp would point to a lack of name recognition with 63% saying they don't know enough about him. while ford hasn't even decided on whether or not he'll run, he does have some tough words for his potential opponent, saying gillibrand is, quote, weak in
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many places across the state. >> anthony, what's going on in this race? does harold ford have a shot? >> well, i like harold. the problem is, i haven't heard a rationale for why he's running. i mean, he started out the race saying i'm not going to be a rubber stamp for harry reid and chuck schumer. that's a strange way to campaign, i'm not going to support the senior center, i'm not going to be the reliable 60th vote. look, i hope -- i mean, he's got every right to run. i hope he decides no to the. we want to try to have as many resources available in other races. >> is gillibrand weak? >> gillibrand hasn't been on the ballot statewide. so by definition, until she is, until people get into the habit of voting for her, until she gets better known, i'm supporting her. i think she's done a brought job. the problem that someone has to answer for me is why is harold running? >> wait a minute. >> really quickly, her favorability numbers, only 30%. 32% unfavorable. 38% don't even know. and pataki, george pataki, blows
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her out in the same poll. >> and she said a year from now, you will know who i am. and i don't really think that's happened, do you? >> it never does -- i mean, honestly, no one ever becomes well known until they stand on a ballot, until they start having a campaign. and that's going to happen. look, she, to some degree, is coming into the worst possible dynamic. she was appointed by an unelected governor. and she was appointed at a time when being an incumbent isn't a great thing. every time new york has needed her she's been there. and all the critique i've seen from harold ford -- and by the way, the guy was the runner-up in tennessee. i'm not sure we need to turn to the second choice of tennesseans. >> spoken like a true new yorker. >> but i like him. i mean, i think there's -- >> it sounds like you like him. >> no, he and i are buddies. and i'm going to think about going down to tennessee and getting my twang on and see if i can run down there maybe. >> oh. all right.
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>> woo, boy, yeah. they're going to love you in chattanooga. >> yeah, really, quite well there. >> i don't think so. moving on with news now. according to this morning's "washington post," the fbi invoked false terrorism emergencies to illegally obtain more than 2,000 phone records during the bush administration. in other cases, the bureau simply persuaded phone companies to turn their records over. the report says the fbi then issued approvals after the fact in order to justify their actions. all right. so let's take it a little deeper on massachusetts. we had the quote this morning from stu rothenberg who, of course, is one of the top congressional guys. >> that's my daughter. stop. i'll get it. there must be something. >> hi, carly. so anyway, that this would be one of the biggest surprises of his lifetime. >> yeah. >> i mean, that big. let's read the quote from stu.
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and he covers all of these races. if republican scott brown wins and he may, it will be the biggest political upset of my life. i keep going back to a year ago and how excited democrats were a year ago with barack obama and the democrats taking control of congress. and my gosh, mike, things have changed so quickly. in virginia, in new jersey, in massachusetts. this isn't just about weak candidates in all three states. this is about something bigger. >> it might be. it probably is. but in virginia and new jersey, you had candidates who actually ran campaigns. in massachusetts, there's going to be a tendency, if she does lose, there's going to be a tendency, i think, to put everything on, oh, people are against the president and his agenda. this was a horrifically bad campaign in the sense that campaigns are not rocket science. they're job applications. you put your name on the ballot, and you're expected to go out, meet people, look in their eye and tell them why you want to be a united states senator, an
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alderman, congressman from brooklyn, doesn't matter. she didn't do it. this is an indictment first and foremost of the coakley campaign. >> but also, you're in a democratic district. not a hugely democratic district, but a safe democratic district. and even in your district, you told me before that health care reform's running 50/50 of calls into your office. it's tough sledding out there for all democrats. >> it is. but, again, you know, people who are against things, they're pretty animated about them. and in the case of health care, there's been a lot of things to pick on about it. and to some he degree it's been our fault in washington, animating our base of people who should be out there enthusiastic about the idea. even they have been kind of muted because the message has gotten complicated. >> the president goes to massachusetts on sunday. we hear the internal polls are dropping. he campaigns for corzine at the end. he can't save him. does it look like this president does not have coat tails? >> let's put it in a little historical context. this is always a bad year.
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this point is always bad for the in party. the president gets a little spanking in this cycle. it is worse now because the economy is worse. you know, my critique of what the president should have done, he should have been giving speeches in new jersey and massachusetts and in nebraska all throughout this period talking about health care in clear terms that people understand. here's what the public option means. it means you have choice and competition. here's what we democrats have done in the past. we created medicare, not the other guys. they said that didn't work. that was socialized medicine. here's what we're trying to do. and that hasn't really happened. and perhaps it will now. and, again, you know, the coakley thing, i've got to agree with mike. i supported mike capuano. i thought that was the kind of candidate we needed this year, someone who was going to go at it like a regular guy would, be critical of the administration when you needed to. but before we closed the door on this, remember, if people in massachusetts come out and vote, coakley's going to win. because, i mean, i think there's still a democratic senator of gravity in that state that wants progress. and i don't think they want brown to go in there and stop is it for the next 20 years.
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>> let's say for argument's sake she loses. let's assume that for a moment. what happens to health care? we've heard they'll ask the house to sign the senate bill as is. what's the next move if you only have 59 senators? >> i think you could make a good argument that health care might be dead. >> really? >> yeah. because, look. i think it's going to be very hard to ask us in the house to take the senate bill when everyone acknowledges it was the worst bill. everyone said the only reason we were passing the senate bill was to move the ball forward. >> you said health care may be dead. we're hearing some say, well, the house needs to completely digest the senate bill. >> yeah, i don't see us doing that. >> would you today -- >> i have a very difficult time. >> would you vote for this bill? >> i'd have a difficult time. i'd have to get some kind of assurance that tomorrow we're going to get 15 things changed in it. and that's not usually the way legislation happens. >> no. >> you know the senate bill is a worse bill, there's no doubt about it. i think most people agree with that. and even the house bill we made a lot of compromises. >> so mike, if brown wins, health care is dead. >> apparently so.
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apparently it's, you know, on life support, no pun intended. let me ask a question for all the boys and girls out there about to head off to school. when i was growing up, you take history and civics. i always thought 51 votes, you win. you pass the bill. it gets signed into law. what is this 60-vote deal? >> i don't know. but it could fill a book. somewhere we've lost track of the idea. you know, it's -- i mean, i thought majority rules in this country. we've become so inert to the idea of 60 votes. what have we done? we're held hostage by olympia snowe, joe lieberman, ben nelson and now brown. we're essentially voting on whether or not health care will move forward. >> congressman wiener, thank you so much for being here. before we go to break, coach moore, athletic director at university of alabama, has always been a gentleman to me even when i wasn't a gentleman
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to him. his wife, charlotte, passed away after a long, long bout with alzheimer's. we're all thinking about her and him and the family. >> absolutely. coming up, why independent voters will be critical in today's special election in massachusetts. a preview of the daily rundown with chuck todd and savannah guthrie. and a little later, former presidential candidate mitt romney and massachusetts governor deval patrick. but first, bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> good tuesday morning. looking at massachusetts, light snow and a wintry mix has broken out pretty much right along the mass pike now headed into worcester and boston. the forecast today does call for light snow. maybe a little freezing rain mixing in. temperatures will warm up this afternoon and roads will be okay later today. this morning could be slippery. d.c. to new york looks perfect. the big story out in the west coast, horrible weather all week long. another big storm is slamming into san francisco as i speak, significant airport delays out there later today if you're going to be traveling from the east coast.
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so that's a look at your tuesday forecast. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. sfx:ough, cough, cough. mom: hang on, honey, it's gotta be in here somewhere. anncr vo: you know you're gonna need it. anncr vo: why not stock up for less at walmart? save an average of 25% on these products compared to leading national drug store chains. vo: save money. live better. walmart.
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martha knows the struggles massachusetts working families face because she's lived those struggles. she's fought for the people of massachusetts every single day. as attorney general, she took on wall street and recovered millions for massachusetts taxpayers. she went after big insurance companies, took on privatory lenders. that's what martha coakley is about. every vote matters. every voice matters. we need you on tuesday! >> i'm martha coakley, and i approved this message. >> my name is scott brown and i'm running for the united states senate. this is my truck. i put a lot of miles on it during this campaign. wherever i go, people tell me they're concerned about the path our country is on. spending is out of control. government keeps getting bigger and bigger. it's time for a new direction. i love this old truck. it's brought my closer to the
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people of this state. and i want to speak for them as their next united states senator. i'm scott brown and i approve this message because it's time we end business as usual in washington. >> hey, dad. >> all right. really, those two commercials say it all. mike barnicle, because we haven't put this in proper perspective, very quickly before we go to the diva and chuck, people think massachusetts, if they've never been there, is a state where everybody is like at a harvard yard, dropping acid, smoking pot, that brown picture, that is massachusetts, man. it's working class. it is real america. sure, it's liberal in places and it's democratic, but there are a lot of good, hardworking, blue-collar people there that look at that scott brown commercial and go, i don't care if he's republican or not. i like him. >> there are three roads out of boston in particular, route 2 heading west, route 9 heading west, route 16 which heads southwest down towards fall river and new bedford.
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you take those, you get 15 miles outside of boston, you're in america. you're in 8, 9, 10% unemploym t unemployment. >> boston is america, but you're in middle america. >> you're in unemployment. you're in people frustrated with government. you're in people frustrated with the costs. you're with people frustrated by increased taxes, lower services, municipal services. it's the same everywhere. >> yeah. here with us now, nbc news chief white house correspondent and nbc news political director, chuck todd. >> by the way, they won't even go in the same room. >> we have to put her at the white house. >> nbc news white house correspondent savannah guthrie. together they make up the all-star team of "the daily rundown." >> that's the line in the sand. >> like i said, it's like the oakland a's from the early 1970s. yeah, they may have won world series, but after the games were over, they beat the crap out of each other in the locker room. chuck todd -- >> that is joe rudy on the left. >> that is. >> i have the facial hair of an
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oakland "a," right, barnicle? >> yeah, rollie fingers. >> but anyway, what are we talking about here with massachusetts? what -- i can't. but massachusetts, we just heard anthony wiener say if scott brown wins, health care as we know it is dead. >> hyperbole? >> i have to say, you know, the conversation here at the white house with speaker pelosi about this plan "b" hasn't even happened yet. because, look. their plan "a" is hope. they're still hoping they can pull this out. i mean, when the aides got together a year ago and started thinking about health care, i think they all recognized this was a heavy lift. and there were about five, six, seven different ways health care could die along the way. i don't think anyone thought it would die because the massachusetts senate seat once occupied by ted kennedy would go to a republican. so people here are just in
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despair over this and recognizing that health care is really on the line here and hanging by a thread. >> chuck todd, i read a report that george voinovich went over yesterday, talked to the white house. is this president still trying to work for a 60th vote even if it's republican if brown wins? >> well, i think, actually, that lunch is today. and i'll say this. it's sort of an opportune time -- and i think the question, joe, for a lot of people watching this white house is how much do they use this election as an excuse to say yeah, we got a wake-up call? because the fact is this. this is the third straight election if you count new jersey and virginia where the democratic candidate has lost to independents. and they can finger-point all they want at martha coakley. there's no doubt that a good candidate and a good campaign could win in mass nachusetts in bad political environment. >> let me stop you a second. look at that number up there. independents in massachusetts, scott brown, 69%. martha coakley, 28%.
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in virginia, it was equally as dramatic. in new jersey, not quite so dramatic. but these people are losing independents in every off-year election. and at some point, as one senior democrat said on capitol hill, you've got to look at obama and his policies. >> and joe, let's remember, obama got 55% of independents in massachusetts. so that is a lot of obama '08 voters voting for scott brown in the beginning here of 2010. you know, he doesn't win without winning a lot of people that voted for obama. the fact is this. and the white house will acknowledge this. hey, the folks that voted for change in '06 and change in '08 are still voting for change. and right now obama's on the wrong side of the change. he's got to figure out how to get on that other side. now, the white house will acknowledge that they have to, you know, health care's been a distraction in this respect. the focus on health care has done two things.
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has angered those who believe government is trying to do too much and expanding too quickly. and it's angered the other part of the change electorate who wonder, hey, wait a minute. health care's never been my top issue. my top issue is jobs, jobs, jobs. and so the focus on health care has made the president look out of touch. >> all right. so savannah, i just wonder if you can give us a sense as to what the white house is putting out there as the reason people should vote for martha coakley. what does she stand for? and by the way, what do either of them stand for except that perhaps it seems almost like at this point a popularity contest which he is living? >> no, no, he's against health care reform. she is for health care reform. >> yeah, but they have not -- >> that's a big difference. >> go ahead. >> no question about it. but what's fascinating about this in the president's trip up there on sunday is the democrats at the white house are not reaching out to frame this as health care dies if we don't get coakley into office. what they're trying to do -- in fact, they're test running
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themes for the 2010 midterms -- is to say, look. brown stands with the insurance companies. brown stands with the banks. they're trying to fuel this populist argument. that's the reason and the rationale the president provided on sunday for voting for martha coakley. now, we all know the more immediate issue right now is that without martha coakley, health care reform, as i said, is hanging by a thread. there aren't many avenues to getting it passed. i mean, the notion of a 60th vote coming from a republican seems pretty far-fetched. i asked a senior person yesterday, is snowe still in play? and this person said, you know what? it would be very, very difficult for her to vote for health care reform. that's the real rationale right now from them, but not the one they're giving to voters in massachusetts. >> make sure you watch "the daily rundown" at 9:04 every day eastern time. >> 9:00. >> 8:58, my friend.
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learn lessons earlier, will you? tell us what you learned a few minutes earlier. >> hey, you know what? >> don't learn so much. >> we'll give it to you at 6:02 if you want it. >> no, no, that's okay. >> that's not necessary. not necessary. >> thank you all so much. coming up in just a few minutes, the governor of massachusetts, deval patrick and "the wall street journal's" peggy noonan will join us. keep it right here on "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. [ birds screech ] [ loud rumbling ] [ rifle fires ] [ announcer ] if you think about it, this is what makes theladders different... from other job search sites. we only want the big jobs. join theladders.com. only $100k+ jobs and only $100k+ talent.
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welcome back to "morning joe" just after 6:30 on the east coast. time for a look at the top stories. today's special election in massachusetts will determine the next united states senator and perhaps the future of president obama's health care overhaul. polls opened just about a half hour ago in a stunningly close race between democrat martha coakley and republican scott brown. the race has taken on national implications, representing the democrats' 60th vote to push through the health care legislation. one week after haiti's devastating earthquake, relief workers say scattered violence is slowing food and water deliveries in parts of the capital. thousands of survivors are now fleeing the city in hope of finding aid with relatives further into the countryside. the u.n. security council is
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expected to approve additional peacekeeping forces to help speed up the relief effort. and haitian-born musician wyclef jean is responding to charges that his charitable foundation has been engaged in shady practices. in a tearful news conference yesterday, jean said while his foundation did make mistakes, he has not personally profited from any money intended for disaster relief. we'll be right back with deval patrick of massachusetts. also, "the wall street journal's" peggy noonan. you talk about must-read, every week. her opinion pieces are must-read in "the wall street journal." we're lucky to have her here. >> they crystallize exactly what's going on. >> kind of like what i do? >> well, yes, sure. sure. sure. >> we'll be right back. it's not fun. it's not pretty. it's my dry skin, and it's deep down uncomfortable. [ female announcer ] new neutrogena moisture wrap body lotion
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i think you could make a good argument that health care might be dead. >> really? >> yeah, because, look. i think it's going to be very hard to ask us in the house to take the senate bill when everyone acknowledges it was a worse bill. everybody said the only reason we were passing the senate bill was to move the ball forward. >> so you said health care may be dead. we're hearing some people say, well, the house will completedly digest the senate bill and vote on it. >> yeah, i don't see us doing that. >> would you today -- >> i have a very difficult time. >> would you vote for the senate bill? >> i'd have a very difficult time doing that. >> congressman anthony wiener moments ago live from boston, now governor deval patrick and with us on set, columnist for "the wall street journal," peggy noonan. governor, what's happening in massachusetts? why is this race so close? >> well, i think it's great it's so competitive, joe, and good morning to you. >> you like this? >> i think it's a -- >> this is fun? >> i never think it's a foregone conclusion because i don't think
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due respect that the pundits and pollsters get to decide, the voters do and we do that today. >> what's happened, though? what's happened, though, with democrats in massachusetts? what's happened to your approval ratings? we were up there a year, year and a half ago when you were riding high. now your numbers are low. democrats' number as cross ameri across america are low. what's going on out there? it's not just about you or coakley. there's something bigger going on out there. what is it? >> well, first of all, i think the biggest thing -- and everybody knows this -- is that the economy has collapsed, and it's hurt a lot of people. a lot of people are out of work. people are worried about losing their jobs. they've lost the value of their homes or in some cases lost their homes altogether. and there's a general feeling, i think, out there of perilousness. and i think what we've got to do as democrats -- not just as democrats, but as leaders and as members of the community is start to serve again, start to make sure that people understand that we want a politics that's about people and about helping lift everybody up.
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that's what this election is about. that's what the elections throughout this year will be about including my own. it will be a referendum on this crisis. and whether we use this crisis to build a better country and a better commonwealth or we use it for personal advancement. >> so peggy noonan, given the characterization of things right now, is it still surprising that an unknown republican can do so well in massachusetts to replace the late senator ted kennedy? >> it's epic. it's epic. >> did you see what stu rothenberg said, peggy, biggest political upset of his life. >> yeah. and i would think governor, let me ask you, i understand you're talking about atmospherics, the economy, et cetera. but isn't a big part of the story here simple policies? scott brown's been out there saying, we're all worried about governmental debt. we're worried about our own debt. we're worried about taxed. we're worried about spending. we're worried about the intrusiveness and power of the government.
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he's there. martha coakley was not on those issues. don't you think issues at the end of the day are going to settle this in massachusetts by 10:00 tonight? >> i think issues are really important. and i think some of the ones you mentioned are central. i think what's ironic more than ironic but a little hypocritical is that we're hearing republicans who are responsible in the bush/cheney years for the largest run-up in the size of the federal deficit in history, the largest increase in the size of federal government in history, decry deficits and big government. you know, we've got a candidate here who voted for health reform in massachusetts, the most important experiment in health reform in the country. the national debate is modelled on our experiment here in massachusetts. and he says he wants to go to washington and kill it. i mean, what i want as a governor is someone who's going to help massachusetts and not hurt us. >> governor, he's winning the race, though. the latest poll shows he's up by
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9%age points. obviously people in massachusetts have a real problem with this health care reform plan. you talk about optics. could it be everyone wants washington talking about jobs, and all we've been talking about for the past six months, health care, abortion and health care, the opt-in, the opt-out, the trigger. what about jobs? >> you've got two -- you've got two points in there, one of which i agree with and one of which i don't. the one i don't agree with is the one in which you're factually wrong. polls show that the people of massachusetts support health care reform here in massachusetts and do so overwhelmingly. 97% of our residents are covered today, and we're making progress in bringing costs down. >> hold on, governor. hold on. governor, governor, governor, i'm talking about every poll that we've seen here suggests that massachusetts voters are opposed to obama's health care plan. what poll are you looking at that suggests something different? >> i'm looking at the polls that say that the health care reform
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initiative that we instituted here three years ago -- >> right, in massachusetts. >> -- is popular and working. >> but that's not on the ballot. >> and on the jobs point, i think you're exactly right. what people want and what we must be focused on is increasing jobs. that's what we've been working on here in massachusetts. that's what the president is trying to work on. more to the point, we've got to create the conditions with small and medium-sized businesses, can get in business and stay in business. we've been working on that here in the commonwealth as well. by the way, that has nothing to do with party. that is something we have to work on across party lines because it's for the greater good of all. >> governor, first of all, let's -- you know, i don't want to address the stereotype of, you know, sitting in a bar in boston, massachusetts. every shot we show from boston, it's someone in a bar. >> yeah, well. >> barnicle picks the shots. >> i didn't pick the location. >> at quarter of 8:00 in the morning. you just mentioned --
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>> all these taps are shut off, by the way. >> sure, they are. >> i bet they are, governor. >> you're governor of a state, i live in the state, you live in that state, where more than 90% of the residents have health insurance. so when you travel across the state and as i travel across the state and talk to people, do you think that the president of the united states -- and this is his pivotal moment -- with his primary concern, health care reform, do you think people understand what the president wants to do with health care? you think it's been explained properly? >> i think there's more work to do. it's very, very complicated, as you know. there are elements of both the senate and the house versions that would be good for massachusetts, notwithstanding the fact that we've already started down this path. in fact, one of the concerns we had is where there's so-called early expansion states that have already on their own tried to reach more of our citizens and
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get them covered and take that anxiety being both sick and in bankruptcy off their minds that, you know, there are elements of these proposals that will help. i think there's a lot of work that goes into explaining what health reform is about. i think that is true from the experience here in massachusetts, and i think it's true nationally. >> all right, governor, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. it will be interesting to see what happens tonight. >> don't turn the tap on yet. thanks a lot, governor. >> not yet. not till after the polls close. >> there you go. >> always great talking to you. there may be a lot of drinking after the polls close. >> get into peggy's piece because it speaks to this race. her most recent piece talking about the disconnect. you're talking about president obama kind of misreading the national mood by contrast scott brown connecting with the mood in massachusetts. >> absolutely. i don't think the democrats in the white house and in
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massachusetts understand the extent to which their preoccupation with health care makes it seem not like a policy but like a non sequitur. the entire country is looking at economic issues, national security, and they are looking at health care, health care, health care. health care is part of a big thing. but it's just a part. and i think massachusetts is actually saying, we've got our own state health care thing. we see the benefits. we see the bad parts of it. we're going to try to work through that. we don't really need your health care thing smashed from the federal level down on us. >> peggy -- >> having already had one. so it's a disconnect between the preoccupations of the president and the interests of the people, in my view. >> this is a defining moment for the obama administration. >> yes. >> their allies have lost big in virginia, if new jersey. if they lose tonight in massachusetts, it is, as you said, epic. how should the president respond
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to that? >> one thing i think ought to be noted about massachusetts, by the way, is that only one year ago in the 2008 elections, the president carried massachusetts by 26 points. now, this guy, mr. brown, may win. i mean, if the polls are correct, maybe five, maybe seven, maybe nine. oh, my goodness, what a swing. same thing happened in new jersey in the corzine election. all right. view this, the president should view this as an opportunity. he just took a thumping in virginia, in new jersey and now in massachusetts. teddy kennedy's seat has been in the family since 1952. >> right. >> they took a beating on this. what should they do? sit back, say guess what? i hear you. i just got beat on this. we need health care. it's a major -- we need health care reform. it's a major concern. we're going to step back now. we are going to withdraw this bill. we know you don't like it in the polls and in the elections.
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you're telling us you don't like it. we're going to withdraw it. we're going to refigure it. in the meantime, we are going forward on the economy, forward on national security issues. we are going to talk about and move on the things that are very much in lines with the people's concerns. i didn't say that so well, but show suppleness. show the ability to be humility. admit you may have gotten it wrong. show a responsiveness. that's a real conversation with the people when they speak and you hear. it's not just the president going, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and everybody having to hear him. >> we're hearing reports that the president's going to be defiant. >> bad move. bad move. okay. >> by the way, great move for republicans. republicans running in 2010 will cheer. but for this white house and for health care reform, i think that would be terrible. >> it would not be good. success is a beautiful thing. i wish the president would try to rest some potential success
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from this. still ahead, former presidential candidate mitt romney will join the conversation. and up next, no laughing matter. jay leno gets serious, defending his role in the late-night debacle. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. ( music playing )
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january 2010, conan o'brien hosts his final "tonight show." march 2010, jay leno resumes hosting "the tonight show." july 2042, nbc converts jay leno into a cyborg so he can host "the tonight show" into the 21st century. >> who knows at this point. could be a cyborg. jay leno addressing this whole controversy. he got serious last night for the first time, explaining his side of the story, how all this went down. he said when they came to him months ago with the 10:00 idea, he said, that ain't going to work, but he thought somehow he
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could help conan in some way. here's his explanation. >> when the boss gives you a job and you don't do it well -- i think we did a good job here, but we didn't get the ratings. oh, so you get humble. i said, okay, i'm not crazy about doing a half hour, okay. what do you want to do with conan? we'll put him on at midnight or 12:05, he keeps "the tonight show." next thing i see, a story in the paper saying conan doesn't want to do that. they come back to me, if he decides to walk and doesn't want to do it, do you want the show back? yeah, i'll take the show back. through all this, conan o'brien has been a gentleman. he's a good guy, no animosity. this is all business. if you don't get the ratings, they take you off the air. >> the boss here, jeff zucker said in "the wall street journal" today, he said, we were not surprised conan was disappointed in having his show back up half an hour, but we were very surprised and disappointed at how nasty it turned. that's jeff zucker in "the wall
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street journal" this morning. mr. zucker also appearing on charlie rose last night. >> obviously, in hindsight, you know, perfect information leads you to that conclusion that it was a mistake. and i think it's the sign of a leader to step up and say, you know, when something's not working, to have the guts to reverse it. and the worse thing you can do is to let that mistake linger. and really, that's what we've tried to do it here. we tried to correct something that didn't work. >> mika, you were over at charlie rose yesterday and you saw jeff. >> i saw jeff. i booked him for the show. hoping he'll be on this week. but it was an interesting interview. >> did you book charlie? >> no, but we may run some clips. >> charlie tried to book her, if you know what i mean. >> yeah, i do know what you mean. >> excuse me? what are you saying? that's ridiculous. >> are you on charlie rose this week? >> yes. thursday. >> i believe it's thursday. >> "all things at once," the
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best-selling book by mika brzezinski. >> it's going to be thursday and we may run a clip friday morning. it got kind of interesting, i would say. >> is that what you call it? >> it was more raw than i would have liked it to be and just kind of -- no, don't say it, chris, because i hope they cut that part out. i don't know. >> i think this is going to a bad place, so i'm going to move to something else. conan o'brien, despite what mr. zucker said, that he was disappointed in how nasty conan had gotten, continued last night. >> it's been widely reported that i can't say anything negative about the network. yeah. luckily, folks, they're not saying i can't sing anything negative. ♪ morons, incompetent morons, these people are morons ♪ ♪ la de de
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>> that's where we are. if you believe the reports, that could all be over by the end of the week. >> willie, i wore a special pair of shoes today for a very special guest. >> do they have red soles? >> they have red soles and they're very high and they're very expensive. i wore them for donny, because donny even admits when he's wrong. >> he's not wearing gifts. >> i think i deserve another pair. >> mitt romney on "morning joe," next. >> polls show brown ahead, proving that despite the kennedys, massachusetts is not a democratic state, it's a handso handsomecratic state. - kids: cup-cakes! cup-cakes! cup-cakes! cup-cakes! - come on. cup-cakes! cup-- re-do! re-do! ( stove dings ) cup-cakes! cup-cakes! cup-cakes! ( cheering ) announcer: relax. pam helps you pull it off.
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welcome back to "morning joe." i'm sorry. i am prejudice. that picture -- not quite that picture, but the other picture of new york, that is a picture of the greatest city on the planet. and you know what, there's not a close second. there we go. i tell my 21-year-old son, who's trying to figure out where he wants to live. i say, joey, you know what, there are two types of cities. there's new york and every other type of city. you want to be in the new york-type of city. >> that's right. >> amen. >> i love new york as well. even with our third-term mayor. >> mitt may disagree. donny deutsche, it's good to see
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you, my man. >> hey, kids, what's going on? >> you're going on. >> i'm excited to be here. >> so we've been talking about a brand that has, savaged, tiger woods. a brand that has been savaged with you for some time. i think it's time for us to start talking about another brand -- >> i think it's time for another pair of shoes. >> barack obama, the democratic party, that brand is getting torn to shreds. >> i have a very specific code for him, what he's done wrong. i want to reference back to your boy, reagan. we'll get to that in a minute. >> i love how democrats do it. i love how democrats do this. i got in trouble yesterday, you just said your boy ray reagan, and yesterday we had shlomi pointing to me, your friend, eric cantor. >> at least he didn't say, your crony. >> i may like eric cantor, i don't know him, but there was an ideological connection -- so i get all these calls and eric cantor's calling my office, it's not that i don't like eric
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cantor, but i don't know if eric cantor is going to be like every other republican leader i've dealt with in washington, d.c. that goes there, talks about small government, and goes there and suddenly likes big deficits and debts. i love this, your boy reagan -- >> it's how they roll and it's damaging their brand. >> donny -- >> a kudos. >> all right. donny deutsche is here, as well as "washington post" associate editor, pulitzer prize-winning columnist and msnbc political analyst with, eugene robinson. so, a full table this hour. >> also, do we have mitt with us right now? >> is mitt romney -- >> oh, this he is! >> oh, my goodness. >> we'll get to mitt romney in a second. this is old school "morning joe," willie. >> like the campaign. >> just like the campaign. it's a big day in massachusetts, so it's great to have governor romney here giving his take on what might happen tonight, which could be a major upset. get to that in just a moment. it is time now for a look at
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some of today's top stories. in new developments this morning, nbc news has learned the next wave of u.s. marines is preparing to launch their first humanitarian mission on the ground in haiti today. it comes as the death toll there continues to climb. officials now estimate 200,000 people may have been killed in last week's quake. with millions more struggling for survival, the u.s. military is now airdropping food and water, despite the potential of triggering violence among the crowds. former president bill clinton, who traveled to haiti yesterday, says the relief effort is beginning to make a difference, despite a slow start. >> it wasn't like there was anybody in charge, but it wasn't anyone's fault. it's because of the way the earthquake took out people in the hatian government and their physical structures and the police, 40% of them have reported back in, but they don't have any uniforms or weapons. and because of the way it took out the leadership of the u.n. and because of the time it took to get the americans in.
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we're rocking now. it will be better tomorrow, it will be better the day after that. okay. to the other big story this morning. the polls are now open in massachusetts, where a special selection is seen as a major test for the democratic party and president obama's policies. just weeks ago, democrat martha coakley was cruising to victor to fill the seat left open by late senator ted kennedy, but following a lackluster campaign, republican scott brown now has the momentum and the potential for a historic upset. >> msnbc chief washington correspondent norah o'donnell is live bowl and finch bar in boston. the beer is flowing already this morning. >> get out the vodka. >> norah, get us up to date this morning about an election that, well, peggy called epic, that stu rothenberg said was the greatest upset in his adult life, and that anthony weiner said, if it happens, if scott
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brown wins, will kill health care reform in america. get us up to date. >> reporter: yeah, this is a huge election. i've got the morning papers for you. you can see, of course, the "boston herald" here, mass hysteria. "the boston globe" saying, all eyes on bay state ballot. this is not only a big story here in massachusetts, but around the country. and as you mentioned, republicans headed for this historic upset. i was out and about yesterday, caught up with vicki kennedy, the widow of the late senator ted kennedy, it's been really emotional for her out on the campaign trail and this is going to be very painful if ted kennedy's old senate seat goes the way of republican and ends up imperiling obama's health care agenda. i talked to her about getting out the vote, and she said, one thing about massachusetts politics, you've got to ask for the vote. listen to what she said. >> but i think we have to ask for people's vote. certainly, that's the way my husband always ran. you always ask for everyone's vote, for everyone's support.
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you can't take anything for granted. we shouldn't take anything for granted. you know, tip o'neill said it best, you know, all politics is local. if you don't ask people for their vote, for their support -- >> but nobody expected months ago that this would be this close and that a republican could actually win this seat. >> we're all out there asking people for their help and their support. i think tomorrow we're going to have a good victory with martha coakley. >> reporter: you heard exactly what she said, we shouldn't take it for granted, but that's exactly what coakley critics said she did, took this for granted and lost a 10, 15-point lead just nine days ago, two weeks ago, and now it looks like scott brown may win this contest. what's working in his favor, all the public polls show he's just about over 50%. he's got the momentum behind him. and for coakley, the democrats still say they think they can win this. they're putting a brave face on this and they say the get out the vote is behind them and they're not ready to call this a day.
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joe, mika? >> all right, norah, that was a fascinating interview. >> boy, you can hear vicki kennedy blaming martha coakley without using her name. do you know what shrodenfreud means? >> taking pleasure in other's pains. >> let's go to mitt romney. maybe you can define shrodenfreud, governor, as what happens when democrats in massachusetts decide to get too clever by half. they set up a system that does not allow a governor, you, to appoint a replacement, and they in the end five years later wake up and find out they shouldn't have been too clever by half, because this is about to derail all of their legislation. this would never have happened if democrats hasn't played political games in massachusetts
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five years ago. isn't that right, governor? >> well, there's probably some truth to that, joe, but i think it's even broader than that. i think there's a sense in massachusetts, like the rest of the country, that democrats are playing fast and loose in washington. that there's kind of a neomonarchy, if you will, that they don't have to listen to the american people. they know what's better for the american people than the people know themselves and they're going to push through their health care plan and their cap and trade plan and their spending plan. and people here in massachusetts are saying, look, we think the people ought to run this country, not these royalists in washington. >> what does this victory mean if scott brown, in fact, pulls it out tonight? >> even being as close as it is, i think it's a bit of a shot heard around the world, or around the nation, at least. the ineptitude and arrogance of washington is not acceptable here in massachusetts or anywhere else in the country. i think you're going to find blue dog democrats, thinking democrats around the country
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that are elected from various states, saying, wait a second, we better slow down. maybe we ought to read these bills and perhaps we ought to allow some of the ideas that have come from the other side of the aisle, the republican side of the aisle to be considered and have a bipartisan bill. that's what we did here in massachusetts when we came to health care. our plan is working here in massachusetts, not perfectly, but a heck of a lot better than what obamacare looks like. >> "washington post" gene robinson, if coakley loses, we know she's going to get killed tomorrow by the democrats they're going to say she's the worst candidate ever, just like they did in virginia to poor creigh deeds. just like they did in new hampshire to poor jon corzine. at some point, does somebody get a bird's eye view of what's been happening the past six months and say, hey, wait a second, this may have something to do with washington democrats. >> well, you've got two things happening, joe. yes, you have to take a look at the panorama of those two elections and this one, if
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coakley loses and say, there has to be lessons for democrats in this. and you have to -- and you better pay attention, and you know, i have various thoughts on what those lessons are, but let's bring it back to reality. i mean, you know, epic? if she really was ahead by 15 points a few weeks ago and is about to lose today, that does suggest that there is something specific about this race. if, in fact, a couple of weeks ago, people were saying, they were perfectly happy to elect the democrats. so you can't entirely divorce the specifics of this candidate and scott brown from your analysis of what happened. >> there's something happening out there, though, gene. could it just be that democratic policies, as promoted over the past year by this administration and nancy pelosi and harry reid are unpopular with working class
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americans who usually vote democratic? >> well, that could be. i mean, i would point fingers in a couple of other directions. number one, i think there is clearly an enthusiasm gap between the administration's opponents versus the administration's supporters, who haven't even been particularly vocal, much less terribly excited about what's going on. and that's something that the administration had better address, i think, and one of the reasons, i think, is that the activist base of the democratic party does not feel that it's had a lot to jump for joy about recently. so they're not jumping for joy. the other thing that's going on, i think, is that the administration lost control of the message war. and has allowed its opponents to define the issues in a way that's never wise. >> let's bring donny deutsche in
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on that point. branding. you're all about branding. talk about this democratic brand. we were talking a couple months ago about how bad the republican brand was. boy, you got to look at the democrats now and say, something really bad's going on. especially with independents. >> there's a tremendous irony here. and chuck todd mentioned the word change earlier in this show. what reagan did brilliantly, and let's go back to that, he did not let go of jimmy carter early on. basically what's happening, this change thing, and if you look at brown's add, it's basically, we need change. basically, what big government has done so far this year is put a stimulus package that has worked to some small degree. and barack did not frame and say, you know what, in simple terms, health care, we're going to give pre-existing conditions, take care of you, 30 million people, and go after the big drug companies. better for the economy and i'm working on jobs. and basically, this government got us in the position we're in. he's on the wrong side of change. where the irony is, they were
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voting for a change a year ago, now they're voting for change again. >> but this is trying to sale, though, high-heeled shoes to me. if you have somebody that comes to you -- hold a second on health care. 75% of americans say they are happy with their health care according to a "washington post" poll before this debate even began. and they're trying to sell something americans don't need. if you have a guy that makes high heels and says i want to get guys, lugheads like joe scarborough, you would say, come on, he's not your audience. >> but because they don't know any different. what if you framed it from the beginning and said, do you know your health care, if this happens, that happens. of course, because it hasn't been framed. i'm not saying scare tactics, but saying, not only does the guy next door not have health care, but do you know god forbid this happens to you, you need this reform. they haven't sold it. >> it's not a communications problem. >> of course it's a communications problem. >> people always think that.
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it is a content problem. they had the wrong things in the bill and the bill was the wrong thing for the moment. you can't communicate that well. it wasn't the white house speechwriter -- >> peggy, why is it wrong for the moment to say -- >> because we're in an economic crisis. >> but why can't you attach the two? that's this whistling and chewing gum at the same time -- >> oh, no. you're going to get the wrong lesson from everything that's been happening. it's not communication -- >> it's always -- listen to me. it's the economy first. i worked on the clinton -- it's the economy, stupid, i get it. it's jobs, jobs, jobs. it's 20% unemployment. having said that -- >> just stop there! >> having said that -- >> now let's bring governor romney in -- >> just stop there! don't go to cap and trade. >> i'm not going to cap and trade. why can't you, and as a subset of that, the communication was wrong. we go back to that. and as a subset of that, by the way, if we cure this health
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care, which is morally the right issue to do, we also help the economy and here's how -- >> because people don't believe it. you can't sell that. >> reagan didn't keep referring back to jimmy carter in the first year and two of his presidency. he thought jimmy carter was a wild duck attacking his ankles. he would flick him away. >> he still owned change a year into it. >> he didn't own change. he said, i'm going to do a, b, and a and d, and did a, b, and . >> let's go to governor romney, talking about ducks nibbling at ankles. governor, in the end, do you think the obama white house has gotten it wrong because they've been focusing on health care, focusing on cap and trade, focusing on all these other things except for jobs when 20 million americans are out of work and unemployment's over 10%. >> look, peggy's right on this.
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this is not about communication. this is about reality and what you're doing. i used to be involved in the business world, as you know, and one of the things i did was work in turnaround settings. i've had a couple of turnarounds. the first lesson in every turnaround is to focus. focus, focus, focus on what's most important and the most important thing the president should have done is focus on jobs and creating jobs and getting our economy going. he didn't have his jobs summit until just a few weeks ago. his plan did not work. the people here in massachusetts recognized that. instead of focusing on jobs, he put in place this massive new entitlement effort with regards to health care, and people here in massachusetts, we already have a plan. it's working for us here. a raw deal would be if now we had to have obamacare that would raise our taxes and cut medicare in our state, when it's already working for us. we would be subsidizing other states. that's why people in massachusetts are saying no to the reality of what's being put on them. this is not about communications and spin, this is about content and barack obama, frankly, has
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missed what was most important, which is getting the economy right. and that's why i think he's suffering so badly. >> all right. let's bring norah o'donnell back into this conversation. norah, you did this really amazing interview with vicki kennedy, and she talks about how you have to go out and ask people for your vote. it appears, in that interview, and in the sound bite that we showed, that she's really chastising martha coakley for a job not well done. but give us the nuance of that interview. was that what she was intending to do? >> i don't think that's what she was intending to do, but i do think there is, in some ways, some slight criticism that is out there, that there wasn't a connection with voters, that there wasn't a focus on the issues, that had gotten sleepy -- that was a word that vicki kennedy had used -- over the holidays. so there wasn't this focus on the issues. and quite frankly, all the democrats i have talked to said they could use one more week to make the difference between the two candidates. one point vicki kennedy made
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about the national health care bill, not the one in massachusetts, one thing that -- several things it would do that voters would like is that it would provide a lifetime cap for cancer, if you have breast cancer, if you have brain cancer. you know, most of us that have insurance, we have a cap of $1 million on that. that this would end this, obama's plan would end this. you would not have to pay deductibles or copays for mammograms or pap smears. isn't that thing that people would like? >> i think there's no question, but the republicans like me and republicans across the country believe in health care reform. i was one of those that championed health care reform here in massachusetts and it's helping a lot of people. we have 98% of our people insured and scott brown, by the way, was one of those who voted for it. but what we don't like is a bill that's being foisted upon us by washington, which is a one size fits all plan that says sweep aside what any state has done and having a federal program that tells you exactly what needs to be done in every single
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state. that's what people recognize as a form of arrogance that they're not willing to accept. they would rather see plans worked out state by state or perhaps reform by reform in washington, rather than this massive program that barack obama has been pushing. >> all right. governor mitt romney, thanks very much. eugene robinson, peggy noonan. >> are you running for president, mr. romney? >> i'm running for scott brown, working real hard today. >> we'll catch you later on that. maybe tomorrow we'll ask you. coming up next, what the white house is preparing to do if the democrats lose today in massachusetts. plus, the finger pointing begins. we'll get an exclusive first look at the politico playbook. also, a bigger -- >> peggy and i are pointing at you, baby. >> i can sell you a message when we come back -- >> i got a better fact. i need shoes, you sell me shoes by selling me shoes, not by
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i think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead. >> really? >> yeah, because i -- look, i think it's going to be very hard to ask us in the house to take the senate bill when everyone acknowledges it was a worse bill. everyone said the only reason we were passing the senate bill was to move the ball forward. >> you're saying health care might be dead, we're hearing the house might just completely die digest the bill -- >> i don't see us doing that. >> would you today vote for the senate bill. >> i have a very difficult time doing that. >> with us now, mike allen, here this morning with politico's playbook. >> can you believe what anthony weiner said?
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>> he said it's over, done. >> that needs to be a headline on politico. >> there's a lot of democrats saying that. senator kerry even said that in a fund-raising appeal up in massachusetts. he said, reform could be dead if you don't fork over the bucks. >> so he's, what, threatening the voters to vote for coakley? was that it? >> it was one of his big arguments, and now, of course, that's going to be thrown back at him, because democrats will have to be out tomorrow saying, oh, yeah, we're plunging ahead with health care, we have lots of ways we can do it. but i can tell you what they're not going to do. they're not going to do one of these hurry-up offenses, try to sneak it back customs before these republicans -- because the last thing people will want to do is look like they're doing something shady when these democrats are going to be so gun-shy anyway. >> and with kerry gone, i don't think people care. >> that's what donny and i tried to do when we came back from tijuana, slip it past customs really quickly. >> you get caught.
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especially with the body scan machines. >> politico's got this great picture on the front of their website, a finger being pointed at martha coakley. tomorrow morning, we're going to hear that she was the worst candidate in the history of mankind. t just like we heard with jon corzine, the worst governor in the history of new jersey politics. any chance somebody in d.c. may be saying, hey, maybe we're screwing up here. >> yeah, well, you're right. you don't have to wait until tomorrow. the fingers are all pointing at each other. the big question that's being asked in both massachusetts and down here in d.c. is how did this race get so far off hand? it was only a week and a half ago that the national democratic committee started to pour money in. they eventually spent $2.5 million there. meantime, republicans saw the opportunity sooner and they were quietly spending money. they spent $500,000 up there.
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didn't say anything about it. we got these e-mails from democrats say welcoing, if this such a good seat, why aren't they spending money up here? that's exactly what they're doing, but waited until it had to be disclosed. >> mike allen with a look inside the politico playbook, thanks very much. >> and if you look at that cover story of politico, and they are, they are blaming everybody. they are blaming the head of the democratic senate committee. they're even blaming obama, a lot of consternation in democratic ranks. >> because they can blame human beings for having run a bad campaign, then they don't have to look at deeper problems, being on the wrong side of various issues, having unpopular stands. do you know what i mean? i think coakley is about to be beat about the head over the nebs few weeks as she never had before, not by republicans, but by democrats who want to think all of the reason for the loss in massachusetts was her bad
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candidacy. >> let's go back to my shoe analogy. i walk into a store, i want shoes, you try to sell me pants, i say, give me shoes, you try to sell me a shirt, you say, you don't need the shoes, you need a shirt. give me is shoes. >> he didn't make health care a subset of the economy. having said that, what he can do out of this a turn it into a victory. tearfully, i tried to get a revolution through. i still believe it, i want it, i couldn't. now it's the economy. and now that's all to focus on. he's got no choice at this point. if he tries to do a backdoor at this point, it's going to backfire. >> that doesn't happen. >> however we got here, we're here now. and if anything, he can be almost a hero that he tried to change the world, he couldn't, we're going back to work. >> and he needs to be showing people that he can hear them. >> would've, could've, should've. >> coming up, a check on business before the bell with
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hey, you know, new citigroup earnings are out this morning. let's get a check on business before the bell with cnbc's international superstar, live at the stocks exchange, erin burnett. erin, i understand you were starting with some trivia. >> yes, i am starting with trivia today. >> yeah, that's great. >> joe. >> yeah? >> take a guess at what company in the news today has cut its head count by 30% or 100,000 jobs? >> nbc. it just feels that way.
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citigroup. >> know, that's just what conan's paycheck would pay that many people. >> he's just trying to feed his family, poor guy. >> citigroup, that's right. it is amazing. citigroup has cut 100,000 jobs during financial crises, which is about 30% of its total. they still have 265,000. but that stuck out to me, when you see the pain and the layoffs that have happened across our country. so the citigroup numbers are out. they're about in line with expectations. there's nothing shocking in here. there's no disclosure of the bonus situation at citigroup or how they're paying it. although, we expect to hear along with them and goldman sachs and some of the other ones over the next few days about how they're compensating their employees. citigroup, one headline, joe, i think it's worth highlighting this, this is what makes citigroup different than all the other banks that are going to report. it is the fact that citigroup gets 70% of its business from outside the united states of america. so if you're looking at what citigroup tells you, yeah,
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they've got all kinds of problems with prime mortgages and loans in the united states, but they can give you a gauge of what's going on overseas. and by the way, some people are saying, if things keep getting worse for citi, they're going to have to start selling some of those overseas businesses, which are actually the ones that would be poised to rebound. >> didn't they repay a lot of t.a.r.p. money the fourth quarter? >> they did repay their t.a.r.p. money. >> how much was that? $20 billion? >> it was about $20 billion, 20 or 25. >> hard to really make a profit when you're paying back $20 billion. does this mean that they're on firmer footing financially now? they've repaid t.a.r.p., got the bad loans washed through the system. can they start growing now? >> i don't know if they're ready to start growing, but everyone says you've got to keep more cash on hand, which bank relative to its size has the most cash on hand? it actually is citigroup, although most people believe citi is weakest of the big banks out there. it does, by that measure, score more strongly than a jpmorgan,
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for example, or even a goldman sachs. but many people think it is not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination. i hear the music, i know we have to go, but wall street cares a whole lot about that massachusetts election, joe. >> do they? >> yes, they do. health care, i don't know if it does anything long-term for the market, but if health care fails, a lot of those health care stocks will go up. people on wall street like people everyone else don't know what's in that health care bill to begin with. >> so if coakley loses, the markets go up? >> you could get, yes, a little bit of a pop, especially in the health care area. >> it's kind of like if people find out i don't go to a party, in holiday season, attendance goes up. >> attendance goes down. >> international superstar, erin burnett. >> what is that? >> it's an ostrich turkey. mark haines has a whole flock of wild turkeys, 15 of them, this is his mascot. >> you know what would be great, i witch some of the banks, the
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morgan stanleys and goldman sachs, would it be so terrible for them to give 10 or 20% of their profits to haiti? hold on, donny, what would they do with all that money down there in haiti? >> you know what, that's not my job, but i do know something would tell me not only would that be good for mankind, but it might also help their images. you don't think they should do that? >> well, i know we don't have time, but there's a broader discussion on aid money and how it's used. >> that's a different discussion. but i think if i'm lloyd blankfein or mac, there's a time to step up. >> erin burnett, thank you so much. political roundtable, coming up next. keep it right here on "morning joe." [ jennifer garner ] there's a lot of beautiful makeup out there...
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martha knows the struggles massachusetts working families face, because she's lived those struggles. she's fought for the people of
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massachusetts every single day. as attorney general, she took on wall street and recovered millions for massachusetts taxpayers. she went after big insurance companies and took on predatory lenders. that's what martha coakley's about. every vote matters, every voice matters. we need you on tuesday! >> i'm martha coakley and i approve this message. >> my name is scott brown and i'm running for the united states senate. this is my truck. i put a lot of miles on it during this campaign. wherever i go, people tell me they're concerned about the path our country is on. spending is out of control, government keeps getting bigger and bigger. it's time for a new direction. i love this old truck. it's brought me closer to the people of this state and i want to speak for them as their next united states senator. i'm scott brown and i approve this message because it's time we end business as usual in washington. >> hey, dad. >> our political roundtable, mike barnicle, peggy noonan, donny deutsche along with mika
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and myself. that ad encapsulates this race as much as martha coakley hiding in an elite washington fund-raiser while scott brown was shaking hands, freezing to death. >> we're not going to do business as usual anymore, it's time for change, i've got a truck, here i am. and the irony is, who was the last change guy. that's what's so easy about this. that's the target that barack is, unfortunately, and the policies that we're talking about. that's the irony, that the change's running on the change and the change hasn't happened yet. >> peggy noonan, mika said this was the biggest cliche, riding around in a truck. but these ads don't work unless they connect with voters to a larger truth. and the larger truth is that he has ridden around in a truck, has been shaking hands, has been knocking on doors. >> three or four times as many rallies as mrs. coakley has in the past few months. he's been going out to the people famously been going to
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the fenway. you know, he's been going to where normal humans are and having a normal, human conversation with them. >> that's great tactics, but i think we all agree at this table that the real reason he's winning is because of a rebuke of the policies. all he had to do is say, i'm a good guy, i'm your guy next door, and no more business as usual. >> you have to be that, not just say. you have to be it. >> mike barnicle, look at this vision. i remember reading an e-mail a couple of days ago from a despondent liberal on cape cod, who says, my god, everywhere i drive, there are scott brown. what is this place coming to? >> well, you know, he's got energy. he's out there. and basically his message, to boil it down, is he's telling people, it's our turn. that's what he's saying. all incumbents are imperiled species, i think, this fall. and martha coakley is proving it early on this year. scott brown's out there. it's our turn. let us do it? you've been talking a lot about the democratic machine in
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massachusetts. i've been reading a lot of mcgroir's common in the "boston globe" a couple of days ago, talking about how the democratic machine has gotten too bloated, too top heavy, too arrogant. >> there have been three speakers of the house in massachusetts who have left office under a cloud. there's been a couple of state senators, one of them in jail, left office under a cloud, all within the last three or four years. 90% democratic in the legislature. people sit there with a 90% democratic legislature. incidentally, they voted for the legislature, but they sit there, they see their taxes rising, they see the municipal services dwindling. they see their responses to no legislative pay raise. let's put gay marriage on the ballot. all of that ignored. so they're frustrated, they're angry, and scott brown happens to be the funnel for their anger. >> we've talked about this in the past, that he is a traditional looking middle-aged white male. we're going back to basics. you know, we obviously have our
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first african-american president, we've had the female candidates and what not. you look at him, he looks like the candidate, the traditional view of the candidate. and is there a visceral comfort in that to people? i'm just curious, from a real kind of sociological point of view. >> i don't think so. >> things have not worked, oh, my god, we're getting too crazy everywhere. >> only when you contrast it. i think there's something too it. he's the high school football coach who everyone knows and he's running against the institu substitute teacher who takes no interest in her students. >> there's something else going on. there's a new sort of republican. old style was a boston liberal republican. what followed that was the scrappy reagan democrats, ethnic and working class. this is something new now. he's a regular guy, looks like an american, from the middle or self-made into an upper middle class guy. we're seeing some evolution of
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what republicans in massachusetts are right now. >> interesting, though, that he very rarely uses the description republican. >> oh, no! >> he continually refers to himself as an independent. >> who would? >> yeah, who would? >> both parties have bad brands. >> terrible brands. look at the guys who have won in the past six months. bob mcdonnell in virginia. they tried to paint him as a right-wing crazy nut from pat robertson's university. he flipped it away. now, scott brown, tried to do the same thing. said horrible things about him. a certain person on this network whose name will not be mentioned went on a tirade, the likes of which sad and pathetic. it doesn't work. people don't believe it. because you're right, these guys are -- seem pretty regular. >> seem normal. >> you look at that guy and there's a comfortable feeling when you look there, like everything's going to be okay.
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especially when you put him in his truck. >> and you get a feeling that they're not ideologues. >> this country is purple. at the end of the day, what people really want are fiscally conservative people who are socially moderate and that's it. and that's what that looks like and that's what it feels like. >> bull's-eye. >> last thing, if scott brown wins tonight, the real senate race begins tomorrow morning. up next, the president and the press. is obama losing control of the media landscape that helped put him in the white house? "new yorker's" ken aletta next on "morning joe." and if you're in chicago -- >> this is big. mika is going to be having a book signing for "all things at once." the union league club at noon. did you read "the new york times'" review of this thing? >> yeah, and they don't like media types. >> no.
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they don't usually like media types. as i said, they reviewed my book and said, if you read it, you get a communicable disease. but mika's book, amazing. more information on joe.msnbc.com. ( music playing )
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web, there are new questions about whether the obama white house can ever hope to control their message. in a new article for "new yorker magazine," ken auletta writes this. "during the 2008 elections, obama was the object of near event ration, possessed of a persona and a campaign that were irresistibly compelling. what complaints the obama campaign had about coverage, it generally kept to itself. but now that the president has rolled out his ambitious initiatives, he bristles at the way he is treated in the media." we're joined now by ken auletta. he's also author of "googled: the end of the world as we know it." >> it would be surprising that he doesn't like the press coverage he gets. >> actually, throughout his career, when he was a state senator and received very good press from the press, he complained about the press. that they were crowding him. he sees them as kind of a defensive player who's crowding
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his basketball game. and it annoys him. >> and it's like, i brought up the clintons. everybody assumed that the press and the clintons would get along so well, but even starting in 1993, the clintons loathed the media. >> but they had another reason. their '92 campaign, all the talk about gennifer flowers, et cetera, affected their attitude toward the press. before that, he was very open about the press and pretty agreeable. >> is obama being overly sensitive, considering even he joked at the white house correspondence dinner, he said, well, you know, some of you covered me, all of you voted for me. >> it's probably true, or many did. but every president complains about the press, at some point, because they see the press as not interested in issues, but interested if conflict, and simplifying thing. and it's compounded now, as i try to report in this piece, reporters have become wire service reporters. they don't have time to report anymore. they are tweeting and facebooking and blogging and
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they're doing, if for "the new york times," posting for their web two, three, four times a day before their 7:00 deadline. so increasingly, you have less time to report, and that annoys the people in power. on the other hand, the people in power are besieged by the sense that they've lost control. and in the campaign, obama had control. one issue a day, et cetera, and generally you weren't interrupted. now everything interrupts you. >> what's the strategy going after fox news. they went after jim cramer, remember, early on. they go after rush limbaugh. they go after a lot of people that in the past, as buchanan has said, nixon would say, pat, you don't shoot down. in the past, presidents have ignored cable news and talk radio hosts. this white house hasn't. is this part of this bigger frustration? >> yeah, they actually think they were too slow off the draw to go after glenn beck and others on fox news. and the push within the white house, in the late summer and fall, was, we have to be more aggressive. that argument won out. and ultimately, what they did,
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they went after fox, went after some of the press, and then they found out that the press kind of joined in and said, hey, stop this, this is outrageous. this is nixonian, is the argument that was made. and they backed off. >> the media has gotten so criticism during the campaign of being in love with the president. where are we now? how would you characterize the relationship between the white house and the mainstream media? >> post-honeymoon. >> it's getting rough, huh? and after martha coakley, if she loses, it may be like counseling time, right? >> oh, my gosh. >> do you sense in reporting, the "new yorker" piece this week, barack obama has received kid glove treatment throughout his political career. do you sense any tone of arrogance in the white house's reaction to the coverage?
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>> sure, i do. one of the things that i found in my reporting is that below the surface, the obama administration and his people were angry at the press all throughout the campaign despite the press coverage they got, which was very favorable. in fact, in david plough's book, his former campaign managering, he describes their attitude as the jackels. >> every campaign feels that way. hillary's did, john mccain did. >> but they had more deserving -- they deserved to have -- >> yeah. >> let me tell you something, hillary clinton's campaign should have called the media much worse than jackels. i've got to say, seriously, i am so surprised that the obama campaign -- i mean, if i ever got that sort of press coverage on the campaign, i would send roses every day. >> ken auletta, thank you very much. we'll be reading your latest piece in "new yorker." up next, what did we learn? in these turbulent times,
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all right, kids. it's time to talk about what we learned today. what did you learn, willie? >> i learned just how big this race is today. anthony weiner saying health care could be dead if scott brown wins. >> mike barnicle? >> i learned that donny lost the gillette county. take a look at it. >> mid-life crisis. >> i learned that peggy noonan wears cowboy boots. if you want to sell joe pants, do not sell him a shirt. >> if i want shoes, sell me shoes. >> and if i want shoes, i ask donny. that's it. >> william, if it's way too
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early, what time is it? >> it's "morning joe," but stay tuned for "the daily rundown" with chuck and savannah. decision day in massachusetts. voters there hold the president's agenda in their hands. and it's not looking good for the white house. and one week later, haiti on the brink. can u.s. troops keep that country crumbling into chaos today? good morning, it's january 19th, 2010, i'm savannah guthrie. >> and i'm chuck todd. let's get to the rundown. on the last day of the president's first year in office, health care and his entire 2010 plans might be on the line today. massachusetts voters are going to the polls to decide the fate of ted kennedy's senate seat. nbc's kelly o'donnell is in the bay state for us this morning. kelly, set the scene of election day for us. >> reporter: well, good morning, chuck. this is really about energy versus organization. spending time here in boston, we have certain seen the enthusiasm around republican scott brown. a state senator who has been
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very aggressive in his campaign. and by that, i mean, shaken a lot of hands, being very visible. purely unscientific, we've talked to a lot of voters, even democrats, who say they've been persuaded by him, they like him. at the same time, democrats point out that they have the organization. they have deep ties to this community, a huge advantage when it comes to registered voters. and they know how to win elections. so, what i've been hearing from democrats is they've seen a huge uptick in the number of volunteers. for example, they quote a figure that goes like this. last week, about 2,200 working for democrat martha coakley. as of last night, 4,400. so they've been able to make phone calls. today, they'll be behind the wheel, driving voters to polls to try to get their vote out. so it will be much about who has got the enthuse ya. and the buzz versus those that can really convert that to actual votes. back to you guys. >> all right. nbc's kelly o'donnell in the cheers bar in boston, i think, if i recognize it,